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George Mason University Launches First Annual CSR Seminar

George Mason University Launches First Annual CSR Seminar

Published 03-29-11

Submitted by George Mason University School of Management

Representatives from Best Buy, Northrop Grumman, Intel, U.S. Small Business Administration, Helios, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce met for a weeklong corporate social responsibility seminar at the Mason Inn Conference Center on the campus of George Mason University last week. Hosted by the George Mason School of Management and Dr. Michael Hopkins, director of MHC International based in Geneva Switzerland, the seminar focused on understanding the different aspects of CSR and sustainable development with the goal of making CSR initiatives practical in strategic and operational environments. Seminar discussions centered on ways to implement laws, ethical standards, and international norms into corporate decision making.

With 80 percent of a companies' share price generated by reputation and not purely physical assets, the seminar helped participants focus on adding value to their organizations' net worth through CSR initiatives.

"Increasingly, decision-makers believe in the ability of CSR initiatives to enhance corporate reputations and to attract, retain, and motivate employees. Through our seminar, I think we soundly defeated the red herring that CSR is simply a cost and set of transfers to a miscellaneous set of philanthropic projects," says Hopkins.

The Fairfax Chamber of Commerce was well represented at Mason's CSR event with its President, Jim Corcoran, along with board members from Northrop Grumman and Helios. Best Buy encouraged participants with its work in Haiti. At the seminar, Ralph Titus, Best Buy supply manager, illustrated how Best Buy had helped to set up organized supply chains among post-earthquake havoc and disorganization. Several attendees at the seminar remarked that had they known Best Buy was doing such good work, they would only buy their electronics at Best Buy.
"CSR is now seen as a systems-wide approach to managing a company, NGO or nonprofit to cope with today's new concerns of responsibility and transparency. Philanthropy from a corporation is not enough," says George Mason School of Management Dean Jorge Haddock.

Hopkins has had remarkable success setting up a European CSR Center in Switzerland and hopes his partnership with George Mason's School of Management can be just as fruitful. Next up for George Mason is a series of one-day seminars on specific CSR issues, such as CSR and Finance, CSR and Human Resource Management, and CSR and the Defense Industry.

About MHC International:
MHC International Ltd (MHCi) is a social enterprise whose main aim is to promote social, economic and environmental development using the services of the private sector. Its profits are aimed at furthering these goals through research and advisory services.

About George Mason University:
Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University - Where Innovation Is Tradition.

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George Mason University School of Management

George Mason University School of Management

Corporate Social Responsibility - George Mason University, School of Management, is committed to training our future business leaders and advancing ethical business practices that successfully address the global challenges surrounding people, profits and planet.

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